10 Best Tools for Quilting in 2022 | Best Tools

Good tools are essential whether you have many years of quilting experience or as a beginner. Knowing the best tools for quilting can make your work reasonably easier and faster.

It will also ensure that you have excellent final results. The quality of your outcome can affect the value of your work.

As you proceed, you will find out the ten best tools for quilting you need to have. 

Basically, quilting has a long history and is popular in different parts of the world. However, the first people to introduce the art of quilting to America are European pilgrims.

Nonetheless, history also suggests that quilting came as a spur of the moment. It came as a response by colonial women to stay warm during tough times.

In the early years, quilts were mostly down-to-earth, up till the 19th century. As fabrics became more affordable, women became artistic with their quilts. 

 Over the years, quilting has served as both a form of creative expression and essential skill. For many people, quilting is an excellent pastime activity. Today, innovation is making the art of quilting even better. 

Quilting requires only a few essential tools. They include needles, threads, and fabrics. However, if you take the craft seriously and wish to create breathtaking designs, you need more tools.

It is common to find that every quilter has its set of tools. However, the following ten are the best tools for quilting, especially for beginners. 

What is Quilting? 

Quilting is the process of sewing at least three layers of materials together. There are two main types of quilting: hand quilting and machine quilting.

Quilting usually comprises the top layer, the battling, and the backing. As a beginner in quilting, online classes can be of great help.

You Should Check Out: 15 Online Quilting Classes in 2022 | Free & Paid

Why Do You Need the Best Tools for Quilting? 

Like other fields, it is always essential to get the best tools for quilting. If you are into commercial quilt production, you will understand why quality tools are necessary.

They help you produce better quality products and increase the market value of your quilt. The proper use of tools and materials in quilting can produce significant results and increase value.

Therefore, investing in used quilting supplies is not often advisable. It is always best to go for brand new tools and materials for your quilting tools kit.

As a beginner, having basic sewing experience is essential for quilting. Check out the 21 Best Online Sewing Classes in 2022 | Beginners & Free.

What Are the Best Tools for Quilting? 

Like other art forms, it is often difficult to have a comprehensive list of the best tools for quilting. Technology is constantly changing the quilting industry. 

From the basic to the essential tools, below are the top ten best tools for quilting.

Top Ten Best Tools for Quilting 

#1. The Sewing Machine 

If you don’t want to quilt with your hands, you need a sewing machine.

It is a compact device that is useful for stitching materials together.

They can be either manual or electric. They make it easier and faster to stitch your quilts together. Ensure that a sewing machine meets your needs before you invest in one.  

Bernette B77 Deco Sewing & Quilting Machine from $1,499.00

#2. The Rotary Cutter 

 A rotary cutter makes it easy to cut straight lines faster. They look like a pizza cutter and can cut through various layers quickly.

Rotary cutters have different sizes of blades ranging from 18mm to 60mm.

Smaller blades make it easier to cut more petite curves, while larger blades are better for regular cuts.

XINART 45mm Rotary Cutter for $9.99

#3. Self-healing or Rotary Cutter Mat

The rotary cutter can seriously damage your surface. Therefore, a self-healing cutter mat consists of a flexible material that closes up after cutting.

The larger your cutting mat, the better for you. However, depending on your working space, there are different sizes available. A cutting mat with lines are best to ensure straight cutting.

WORKLION 24″ x 36″ Large Self Healing PVC Cutting Mat $37.90

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#4. Rotary Ruler

The rotary ruler is also an essential quilting tool. It is a non-slip ruler that helps to keep your cutter straight during work.

Using a regular ruler or a yardstick is one way to experience errors. Injuries can even occur due to ruler slip while cutting.

Since a rotary ruler is non-slip, it saves you from unnecessary mistakes and accidents.

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Fiskars Crafts 952301010 Rotary Sewing Cutting Set (3 Piece) $25.57

#5. Rotary Blades

It is always advisable to change your rotary blades as often as possible. Working with a blunt rotary blade can be a difficult task.

A sharp rotary blade is also essential if you like to cut several materials at once.

The long and short is that for the best result and neat cut, a sharp blade is essential. Nobody loves to go back and forth trying to get a neat cut during quilting.

 Fiskars 95287097J Rotary Cutter Replacement Blades $7.70

#6. Iron

An iron remains an essential tool for quilting. No matter the type of material you are working with, preparing it with an iron is the first step.

A basic iron is good if you are working with mainly cotton. However, if you will be working with various fabrics, an iron with a heat setting is essential.

Invest in a steam iron for the best result. Steam iron is good for removing wrinkles from textiles.

Panasonic NI-WL600 Cordless, Portable 1500W Contoured Multi-Directional Steam/Dry Iron $99.95

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#7. Ironing board

Every quilter needs an ironing board, at least one sizeable enough for large fabrics. Wrinkles in fabrics can lead to errors during cutting, pinning, measuring, and sewing.

Therefore, taking the time to iron your fabrics before working can have a great advantage.

A good ironing board will allow you to drape excess fabric during the process. That means it must be large enough if you want faster ironing.  

Honey-Can-Do Tabletop Ironing Board with Retractable Iron Rest $17.80

#8. Fabric Scissors 

For cleaner and smoother edges when cutting, fabric scissors are a necessary addition. It helps to prevent fraying and damaging edges of your fabric during cutting.

No matter the type of material and the length you are working with, fabric scissors can cut straight. Invest in fabric scissors with a sharp and pointed tip for the best result. 

Gingher 8-Inch Knife Edge Dressmaker’s Shears $22.51

#9. Quilt Board/ Design Wall

A quilt board is among the best tools for quilting for many reasons. It provides the quilter with a visual experience of how well the patterns work together.

It also allows you to organize your work and prevent the stitching together of wrong blocks.

Ensure you select a quilt design wall that is large enough to hold several pieces together.

Natural colors are best when choosing a wall to ensure they do not interfere with your quilt colors.  

Brewers 72” Quilting Board for $33.13

#10. Hand and Sewing Machine Needles

Note that hand needles are different from sewing machine needles. Depending on the type of quilting you do, both needles can be essential.

It is always best to have a collection of needles at hand when quilting. Needles can easily break off during sewing, and having extra ones available is essential.

It will save you the stress of looking for a replacement.

SINGER 04801 Universal Heavy Duty Sewing Machine Needles for $6.34

What are the Categories of the Best Tools for Quilting?

The best tools for quilting are grouped into four categories:

  • The Basic Notions and Quilting Tools
  • Essential sewing room tools
  • Basic Quilting supplies
  • Supplementary quilting tools

The Best Tools for Basic Quilting  

Whether you’re a professional or a beginner, you need basic quilting tools. They’re some tools that make your work faster, with better results. Some of these tools include:

The Sewing Machine and Maintenance Kit

While it is possible to create a hand-sewn quilt, sewing machines make your work faster. In addition to this, it also creates better and more accurate stitches. However, if you are a beginner, you might consider not investing in a sewing machine first. They can be expensive and unnecessary if you are not going into large-scale quilting. 

If you consider going into quilting casually, consider buying a more affordable machine. They may not have elaborate functions but, they will be just fine for quilting.

The Appropriate Sewing Machine Foot

It is good to invest in the right sewing machine foot for accuracy. When purchasing a new foot, ensure that it is compatible with your machine. There are two types of sewing machine foot: 

The quarter-inch sewing foot: The quarter-inch sewing foot usually comes with your new sewing machine. It allows for a quarter-inch seam allowance. Quilters rely on the quarter-inch allowance when stitching. It saves fabrics. It is also large enough to ensure a good grip on materials.

The walking foot: Quilting on your sewing machine can be tedious without the walking foot. If you are working on a regular quilt, it’s easy to maneuver with your sewing machine. But, what about a sandwiched quilt? It becomes very difficult or even impossible with your regular sewing foot.

Needle (Hand Sewing and Machine)

Depending on how you stitch your quilt, you might need both needles. Remember that the hand sewing needle is different from a sewing machine needle.

Starting a new project with a fresh sewing needle is always the best. Have fresh needles available. They will be handy if you accidentally break off your needle during work.

Hand sewing needles are also essential for smaller and finer stitches. They are also effective for attaching appliques, bindings, and piercing with a hand. Manufacturers use numbers to indicate the sizes of hand pins.

The Rotary Cutter and Scissors

Quilts consist of different fabric pieces sewn together. Therefore, a tool that can slice through your fabrics is essential for the job. The scissor is just okay for making straight cuts. However, if you want more accurate cuts, the rotary cutter is your best option. 

The circular blades of the rotary cutter glide along a straight edge and a ruler. The result is a cleaner straight cut. The standard blade size for quilters is 45mm and needs replacement often. 

Seam Ripper

No matter how well you stitch mistakes can still occur. The seam ripper is the tool for the job. It comes in handy when you need to get rid of stitches.

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Spray and Basting Pins

Basting is essentialwhen you need to secure a quilt sandwich for stitching. There are many ways to baste a quilt. However, the two most popular ways are spray and pin basting. 

Spray basting is a faster approach. It involves the application of temporal adhesive to the different quilt layers. 

  • It is best if you are quilting with a long arm. Spray basting also works fine when working with machine quilting. Understand that glue spray can be messy on surfaces and produce harsh fumes. 
  • The process of pin basting requires pins to secure all the layers of the quilt. The pin is usually one and a half inches long to enable it to secure all three layers properly. When using a pin, it is always best to over pin than under-do it. It will help to prevent the quilt from bulging during the process. 

  Acrylic Rulers 

They are durable, transparent, and tough. They are useful in many areas of quilting.

Also, they are necessary for cutting your materials into blocks. There are many sizes of rulers available today, which makes it hard to choose. 

Nonetheless, there are two sizes you need to have as a quilter. 

  • The long ruler (18 to 24 inches) allows fabric measurement by length or width. 
  • The square ruler. The square ruler comes in different sizes ranging from 2 1/2 to 20 ½ Inches. Therefore, the size of the block you are using in the project will determine the right ruler size. Start with the 121/2-inch square ruler. It gives you a better chance to work with small to 12-inch quilt blocks. 

As you grow in the profession, you can increase your ruler collection with different sizes. Rulers also come in different sizes and shapes. As you become better with quilting, you will know more about them and their uses.

Pins 

are essential for quilting regardless of the type and size of your quilt. Quilting involves different types and sizes of materials.

It is best to invest in 1 ½ to 2-inch pins. Pins with multi-colored heads are always the best. They are easy to spot, regardless of fabric color.

Bobbins 

Bobbins are essential tools for sewing. No matter the work, you need at least a bobbin.

However, having two or more bobbins makes things even better. An empty bobbin in the middle of a quilt can be frustrating.  

The Best Essential Sewing Room Tools 

A Table or Counter

A table is an essential sewing room tool. It provides you with a surface to cut your fabric. When buying or constructing a table, it is vital to get the right size.

A table 36-inch tall serves as the average height. Nonetheless, the size does not apply to everyone. To find the right size for you, stand upright and make a 90-degree angle with your elbow.

 Slightly lower your hand as though you are about to cut fabric. Take the measurement and construct a table that fits.

A Self-Healing Cutting Mat

Rotary cutters often leave tiny scratches and marks behind. Hence, investing in a self-healing mat is essential. The self-healing cutting mat is soft and flexible, which makes it easy to heal after use. The sizes and features vary from one product to the other.

Many of them come with a ruler grid and angle guides. Your size of choice depends on the size of your working space. You can also invest in foldable mats if you travel a lot. They are flexible and easy to carry.

 Pressing Iron

When working with quilts, always remember that you are not ironing but pressing. To learn the difference between pressing and ironing read more about proper pressing techniques.

The pressing iron is an essential tool for every step of quilting. Ensure your iron is hot and ready at all times. They ensure that your seams lay very flat.

Basic Quilting Supplies

Besides your tools, you also need quilting supplies. The basic quilting supplies you need as a beginner are: 

Quality Textile  

The quality of the textile is vital when buying a textile. Quality textiles increase the durability and quality of your quilt. Therefore, it is best to invest in quality fabrics that last longer.

Investing in 100 percent quilting cotton material can be a good start for you. However, more importantly, is the thread count. Stick with 70 thread counts and above for better durability and less stretch.   

Another way to check for thread counts is to hold the fabric up against the light. The less light penetrates, the higher the thread count. Shop with designers and trusted local quilt shops for the best results.

Thread 

Thread is to sewing as drawing is to pencil. It is impossible to sew without a thread. Invest in a high-quality thread to avoid breaking during sewing. It will also prevent your work from falling apart as quickly as you put it together. 

Remember to match your bobbin thread with the top thread. Always inspect your thread to ensure the bulbs and strands are consistent and flowing. If you find any, discard them and go for a new one.

Batting 

The layer between your quilt top and backing is the battling. It provides the weight and coziness of your quilt.

There are different weights, colors, lofts (thickness), and materials for batting. You can browse the internet to learn more about batting and the different types.

Always go for the highest quality quilt you can find for the best result. Giving comfort and life to your quilt is a good investment with an excellent ROI. Ask your local quilt shop or experts in the field for guidance when purchasing battings.

The Best Supplementary Tools For Quilting 

Below are some of the quilting tools you may need but are not necessary. They can also make your work easier and help you produce better results. They include:

The AccuQuilt Fabric Cutter 

Your scissors and rotary cutter are what you need to handle your cuttings. However, the AccuQuilt fabric cutter is the game-changer in fabric cutting. It saves time and energy and eliminates the tendencies of errors and uneven cuts.

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With the AccuQuilt fabric cutter, you can get more cuts in one pass. If you have enough money to spare, consider adding this machine to your collection of the best tools for quilting. 

Design Wall

Design walls can also be a great addition to your quilting tools kit. They provide you with a space to plan your entire quilt before running stitches. The design wall holds all the essential pieces of your work together. So, you can stand afar and have a feel of your patterns. The design wall also provides safety if you have children and pets in your working space. 

There are different types of design walls available today. They include: 

  • A composite panel with flannel
  • A commercial design wall
  • Neutral cork
  • Foam or cardboard with pins

You can also work with DIY and make-shift design walls.

An Adjustable Lamp

Quality lights are essential for your quilting since attention to detail is vital. Therefore, as an enthusiastic quilter getting the proper lights for your space is necessary. Test and ensure you get a lamp that best fits your space. An adjustable lamp helps you to maneuver different positions while working.

Ruler Gripper 

You need pressure when cutting fabrics to ensure a straight cut. Therefore, the ruler gripper can be a necessary tool but not compulsory. They prevent your material from slipping.

The mode of attachment is suction, which makes it easy to work with a single handle. You can invest in transparent grip tapes for more grip and accuracy.

Clips 

Clips are handy for securing your blind to your quilt during sewing. They are essential when working with curves. Clips can easily hold the different layers of your quilt together while you stitch. They are also easier to maneuver and remove when sewing.

Roll Press 

Pressing is essential when it comes to quilting. Al dente seams create a better-looking quilt and affect the final result.

Finger pressing can be a great way to set your seams before using a hot iron. Finger pressing can be challenging and requires strength to give your fabric a new direction.

Using a roll press makes things easier and faster. A roll press also helps prevent burns when you use your hot iron.

Stiletto 

Stiletto has different uses in the quilting industry. They can help hold your garment and guide fabrics under the sewing machine.

It can also help with piercing, turning appliqué edges, ensuring seam accuracy, and help with seam ripping. The stiletto can help reduce the risk of injuries and pressure on the hand.  

Seam Guide 

Some sewing machines come with an inbuilt seam guide. However, if you want something you can have more control over, a magnetic or adhesive seam guide is essential.

It makes it easier to guide your seam while working.

Wool Pressing Mat 

Wool pressing mats are essential for heating both sides of the seam. They are thick, heat absorbent, and produce better seam results.

FAQs About the Best Tools for Quilting 

What are the types of quilting? 

There are two basic types of quilting, hand quilting, and machine quilting. Hand quilting requires a hand needle and threads. For machine quilting, a sewing machine is essential. Beginners might want to start with hand quilting before moving to machine quilting. 

What is the importance of quilting?

Quilting is both a form of creative expression and also an essential skill. It is also a great pastime and a way to generate extra income. 

What is the first layer in quilting materials?

The quilt top is the first layer of your quilt.

What provides the weight of your quilt? 

The battling is the middle layer of your quilt. It handles the weight and the coziness you feel when using your quilt.

What is the last layer of your quilt called? 

The last layer of your quilt is called the quilt backing. It is responsible for holding all the various pieces together.

How do you quilt for beginners?

As a beginner, the first step to quilting is to have a genuine desire for the act. Gaining an experience in sewing and cutting different materials is also essential. Quilting involves many hours of sewing and cutting. Once you are conversant with the basics, you can start by sewing small blocks together. Increase the blocks as you process till you become very familiar with the process.

Why Should I invest in the best tools for quilting instead of used quilting supplies?

For the best result, it is always advisable to settle for the best tools. Avoid the temptation of purchasing used materials and tools for quilting. Every serious-minded quilter will always rely on the best tools for quilting.

Conclusion 

Excelling in a profession requires the right tools and skill set. Investing in the best tools for quilting will help you achieve the best results.

Quilting can be tiring and involves a lot of cutting and stitching. Hence, you do not need to make it extra tasking by investing in the wrong tools.

There are three groups of quilting tools: the basic, essential, and supplementary tools. If you are a beginner in quilting, consider starting with the basic tools first. As you become better in the field, you can expand your quilting tools kit to include other tools.  

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